Oscar for sale
Orson Welles' Oscar for "Citizen Kane" is going under the hammer - after his daughter decided to sell it.
Beatrice Welles has decided to break with tradition and may raise $1 million (£548,000) for the statuette.
Since 1951 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards Oscars, has made winners sign a disclaimer promising that if they sell the award, the Academy gets to buy it for just $1.
The Academy sued Beatrice when she made it clear she wanted to offload the gong to the highest bidder - but a judge ruled that the sale was legal.
The Oscar - for best screenplay - was won in 1941. But the statuette went missing, so Beatrice asked the Academy for a replacement in 1988. When this arrived she signed their disclaimer.
However in 1994 the original re-surfaced and Ms Wells now intends to offload it.
"We think in 1988, believing the Oscar was lost, she would have signed away any rights," said David Quinto, a lawyer for the Academy. "She has also refused to return the replacement so she's having her cake and eating it too."
US District Court Judge Dean Pregerson ruled: "Welles has unrestricted property rights in the original Oscar, which she may dispose of however she sees fit."
The Academy has blocked the sale of statuettes awarded to Clark Gable in the past, but in 1999, Michael Jackson paid $1.54 million for the best picture Oscar awarded to "Gone with the Wind".
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